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Secretary of Health asks everyone to get tested

Wednesday 2 March 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Health, National


Secretary of Health asks everyone to get tested

Secretary of Health Bob Williams has called on everyone in Rarotonga to get tested as Covid-19 numbers climb by 11 bringing the total number of cases to 53.

All the new cases that were recorded by 10am on Tuesday were either close or household contacts.

Of the total cases, four people have recovered and finished their 10-day isolation.

Secretary of Health Bob Williams said two people who were positive will finish their isolation period today, and another person will complete isolation tomorrow.

Williams said he thinks Covid-19 positive cases will steadily increase.

“We don't really know the extent of the spread, so that's why we are encouraging everyone to go and get tested on Rarotonga,” he said.

“The quicker people can go and get tested the better, then we will assess the situation in terms of the spread.

“You could be asymptomatic walking around not knowing you have the virus.”

An additional testing station at Kavera, Arorangi is set up and offers after-hours testing from 4pm to 7pm. Williams said another is being set up in Ngatangia for the Takitumu district.

It’s additional to the original stations at the Rarotonga International Airport for rapid antigen tests (RAT) and Constitution Park.

Williams said only RATs would now be administered unless a person was a close contact, a household contact or returned a positive RAT, then they would be given a PCR test.

Since February 13 - when the first Covid-19 case was detected in the Cook Islands - 2050 PCR tests have been completed.

Of the active cases, 22 are linked to a single-family cluster - labelled by Te Marae Ora as cluster one.

Williams said the cluster started from someone from New Zealand who had Covid-19.

The person came from New Zealand for a funeral and joined in a big family gathering, Williams said.

Meanwhile, Williams said Crown Law was drafting legislation to change the pre-departure test requirement from a PCR to a RAT.

Williams said he could not confirm when the change would be made.